How Is This GPA Addendum?

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b.j.
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How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby b.j. » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:06 pm

Tell me what you think. It's not exactly short, but I don't think it is too long, either. I hope it comes across as honest, because that's what I was going for.

I wish to reveal the causes surrounding my low undergraduate grade point average. None of it involves some sort of tragic misfortune. Indeed, my performance during my undergraduate years, not reflecting my potential, was less than stellar for various reasons. Difficulty adjusting to the rigors of college, along with not finding my social niche for a long time, certainly contributed. However, the overwhelming factor was a combination of lack of maturity and refusing to acknowledge that a particular major and objective--mathematics with the intention of becoming an economist--was not suited to my talents. As I struggled with certain areas in the past, I always came out stronger than I went in, so I figured the same outcome was possible here. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Yet, with the mindset that nothing is a complete waste if it provides an opportunity to learn, there was a small silver lining: I learned a great deal about how to approach a difficult situation and how to avoid needless stress and frustration. Perhaps most importantly, I discovered how an honest evaluation can make it far easier to realize one’s aspirations and how best to set the stage for success. I certainly refuse to make any exaggerated excuses. My decisions were entirely my own; the results were nobody’s fault but mine. After spending the last few years maturing, working hard, and realizing how I wish to enhance my career and myself, I remain committed to illustrating my full potential. I ask that my application be considered in light of these circumstances.

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reebtoor
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby reebtoor » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:12 pm

I think it's way too long. It doesn't need all of the introduction. They know what it is you are trying to explain. I think all they want is a brief explanation as to why your GPA is not as high as you might like. If you go on and on about the rigors of college and not knowing exactly what you want to do, the reaction is likely going to be, "Yep, sounds like college to me." Everyone who has ever attended college has struggled with these things. If you don't have a good excuse, don't write an addendum. If your later grades are good, they will speak for themselves.

b.j.
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby b.j. » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:25 pm

reebtoor wrote:I think it's way too long. It doesn't need all of the introduction. They know what it is you are trying to explain. I think all they want is a brief explanation as to why your GPA is not as high as you might like. If you go on and on about the rigors of college and not knowing exactly what you want to do, the reaction is likely going to be, "Yep, sounds like college to me." Everyone who has ever attended college has struggled with these things. If you don't have a good excuse, don't write an addendum. If your later grades are good, they will speak for themselves.


They are not good. That's why I am writing it.

But I see your point. I will shorten it.

Are there are any parts that are particularly bad, as in cringe-worthy phrases, or is the length the main issue?

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Sangiovese
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby Sangiovese » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:57 pm

"less than stellar" = cringe-worthy

b.j.
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby b.j. » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:04 am

Sangiovese wrote:"less than stellar" = cringe-worthy


Fair enough. How's this?

I wish to reveal the causes surrounding my low undergraduate grade point average. None of it involves some sort of tragic misfortune. Difficulty adjusting to the rigors of college, along with not finding my social niche for a long time, certainly contributed. However, the overwhelming factor was a combination of lack of maturity and refusing to acknowledge that a particular major and objective--mathematics with the intention of becoming an economist--was not suited to my talents. My strengths lie in other areas. My decisions were entirely my own; the results were nobody’s fault but mine. After spending the last few years maturing, working hard, and realizing how I wish to enhance my career and myself, I remain committed to illustrating my full potential. I ask that my application be considered in light of these circumstances.

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Dany
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby Dany » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:19 am

I really don't think you have addendum-worthy material here. College was hard, you sucked at math... so? "I ask that my application be considered in light of these circumstances." What circumstances? You encountered a 'difficult' situation/major, and didn't come out on top. Not finding your "social niche" certainly isn't a great reason for subpar grades. Your addendum essentially says nothing. It really stinks to apply with a low GPA, but if there's not a good reason for it (such as a financial crisis, parent's death, etc.) then what does this accomplish? It spotlights that you have no real reason for your low GPA, other than you just couldn't succeed academically.

I don't mean this to be rude in any way, but I would just encourage you to think twice about adding an addendum that detracts from your application.

b.j.
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby b.j. » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:03 am

eskimo wrote:I really don't think you have addendum-worthy material here. College was hard, you sucked at math... so? "I ask that my application be considered in light of these circumstances." What circumstances? You encountered a 'difficult' situation/major, and didn't come out on top. Not finding your "social niche" certainly isn't a great reason for subpar grades. Your addendum essentially says nothing. It really stinks to apply with a low GPA, but if there's not a good reason for it (such as a financial crisis, parent's death, etc.) then what does this accomplish? It spotlights that you have no real reason for your low GPA, other than you just couldn't succeed academically.

I don't mean this to be rude in any way, but I would just encourage you to think twice about adding an addendum that detracts from your application.


You're not being rude. You're being honest. I appreciate it.

The thing is, while my other grades aren't absolutely outstanding, they are much better. There's a pretty clear break from my math grades and some econ classes and everything else. Simply put, even though I saw the warning signs that I should either drop the major and/or change the way I was approaching it, I didn't. I learned some things the hard way. I thought it deserved an explanation, just in case they don't spend more than ten seconds glancing at my transcript.

Does it distract from the application more because of how I explained it, or because it draws attention to a GPA that is below the 25th percentile with an unnecessary explanation? In other words, because there's no particularly special circumstances like an illness, is it pretty much pointless?

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reebtoor
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby reebtoor » Thu Jan 14, 2010 3:45 am

b.j. wrote:
eskimo wrote:I really don't think you have addendum-worthy material here. College was hard, you sucked at math... so? "I ask that my application be considered in light of these circumstances." What circumstances? You encountered a 'difficult' situation/major, and didn't come out on top. Not finding your "social niche" certainly isn't a great reason for subpar grades. Your addendum essentially says nothing. It really stinks to apply with a low GPA, but if there's not a good reason for it (such as a financial crisis, parent's death, etc.) then what does this accomplish? It spotlights that you have no real reason for your low GPA, other than you just couldn't succeed academically.

I don't mean this to be rude in any way, but I would just encourage you to think twice about adding an addendum that detracts from your application.


You're not being rude. You're being honest. I appreciate it.

The thing is, while my other grades aren't absolutely outstanding, they are much better. There's a pretty clear break from my math grades and some econ classes and everything else. Simply put, even though I saw the warning signs that I should either drop the major and/or change the way I was approaching it, I didn't. I learned some things the hard way. I thought it deserved an explanation, just in case they don't spend more than ten seconds glancing at my transcript.

Does it distract from the application more because of how I explained it, or because it draws attention to a GPA that is below the 25th percentile with an unnecessary explanation? In other words, because there's no particularly special circumstances like an illness, is it pretty much pointless?


I'm afraid so. You really don't even give a reason to believe you would do any better in law school. I would forget the addendum and write a more than stellar personal statement. I do think, though, that they typically look closely at transcripts, especially if the application is strong otherwise. Good luck.

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calicocat
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby calicocat » Thu Jan 14, 2010 4:12 am

Please don't take this the wrong way but I don't think that is a valid addendum. These are usually reserved for truly special circumstances.

You asked for opinions and those are my 2 cents

b.j.
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby b.j. » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:08 pm

Oli wrote:Please don't take this the wrong way but I don't think that is a valid addendum. These are usually reserved for truly special circumstances.

You asked for opinions and those are my 2 cents


I appreciate your honesty, and really, you don't have to worry about appearing mean. I've had far worse things said to me.

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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby b.j. » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:09 pm

reebtoor wrote:
b.j. wrote:
eskimo wrote:I really don't think you have addendum-worthy material here. College was hard, you sucked at math... so? "I ask that my application be considered in light of these circumstances." What circumstances? You encountered a 'difficult' situation/major, and didn't come out on top. Not finding your "social niche" certainly isn't a great reason for subpar grades. Your addendum essentially says nothing. It really stinks to apply with a low GPA, but if there's not a good reason for it (such as a financial crisis, parent's death, etc.) then what does this accomplish? It spotlights that you have no real reason for your low GPA, other than you just couldn't succeed academically.

I don't mean this to be rude in any way, but I would just encourage you to think twice about adding an addendum that detracts from your application.


You're not being rude. You're being honest. I appreciate it.

The thing is, while my other grades aren't absolutely outstanding, they are much better. There's a pretty clear break from my math grades and some econ classes and everything else. Simply put, even though I saw the warning signs that I should either drop the major and/or change the way I was approaching it, I didn't. I learned some things the hard way. I thought it deserved an explanation, just in case they don't spend more than ten seconds glancing at my transcript.

Does it distract from the application more because of how I explained it, or because it draws attention to a GPA that is below the 25th percentile with an unnecessary explanation? In other words, because there's no particularly special circumstances like an illness, is it pretty much pointless?


I'm afraid so. You really don't even give a reason to believe you would do any better in law school. I would forget the addendum and write a more than stellar personal statement. I do think, though, that they typically look closely at transcripts, especially if the application is strong otherwise. Good luck.


What exactly do you think describes "more than stellar"?

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reebtoor
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby reebtoor » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:38 pm

b.j. wrote:
reebtoor wrote:
b.j. wrote:
eskimo wrote:I really don't think you have addendum-worthy material here. College was hard, you sucked at math... so? "I ask that my application be considered in light of these circumstances." What circumstances? You encountered a 'difficult' situation/major, and didn't come out on top. Not finding your "social niche" certainly isn't a great reason for subpar grades. Your addendum essentially says nothing. It really stinks to apply with a low GPA, but if there's not a good reason for it (such as a financial crisis, parent's death, etc.) then what does this accomplish? It spotlights that you have no real reason for your low GPA, other than you just couldn't succeed academically.

I don't mean this to be rude in any way, but I would just encourage you to think twice about adding an addendum that detracts from your application.


You're not being rude. You're being honest. I appreciate it.

The thing is, while my other grades aren't absolutely outstanding, they are much better. There's a pretty clear break from my math grades and some econ classes and everything else. Simply put, even though I saw the warning signs that I should either drop the major and/or change the way I was approaching it, I didn't. I learned some things the hard way. I thought it deserved an explanation, just in case they don't spend more than ten seconds glancing at my transcript.

Does it distract from the application more because of how I explained it, or because it draws attention to a GPA that is below the 25th percentile with an unnecessary explanation? In other words, because there's no particularly special circumstances like an illness, is it pretty much pointless?


I'm afraid so. You really don't even give a reason to believe you would do any better in law school. I would forget the addendum and write a more than stellar personal statement. I do think, though, that they typically look closely at transcripts, especially if the application is strong otherwise. Good luck.


What exactly do you think describes "more than stellar"?


It's obviously a subjective term. I was really just suggesting that you spend your time on things that will probably matter more. Even if you had a great excuse, your PS would be far more important to your application than an addendum.

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sundevil77
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby sundevil77 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:51 pm

reebtoor wrote:I'm afraid so. You really don't even give a reason to believe you would do any better in law school. I would forget the addendum and write a more than stellar personal statement. I do think, though, that they typically look closely at transcripts, especially if the application is strong otherwise. Good luck.


+1.

Spend more time on something that is still in your control, the PS. I don't know if the GPA addendum is compelling enough to sway AdComms. A well written PS, however, could help your application.

Still, if you feel that the addendum is necessary, send it. I don't know how much it would actually hurt. If I were you, I might send it to a "reach" school that might automatically ding you for having too low of a GPA.

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fl0w
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby fl0w » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:55 pm

sundevil77 wrote:
reebtoor wrote:I'm afraid so. You really don't even give a reason to believe you would do any better in law school. I would forget the addendum and write a more than stellar personal statement. I do think, though, that they typically look closely at transcripts, especially if the application is strong otherwise. Good luck.


+1.

Spend more time on something that is still in your control, the PS. I don't know if the GPA addendum is compelling enough to sway AdComms. A well written PS, however, could help your application.

Still, if you feel that the addendum is necessary, send it. I don't know how much it would actually hurt. If I were you, I might send it to a "reach" school that might automatically ding you for having too low of a GPA.


do not send it. just don't do it.

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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby b.j. » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:56 pm

It's obviously a subjective term. I was really just suggesting that you spend your time on things that will probably matter more. Even if you had a great excuse, your PS would be far more important to your application than an addendum.


That's what I figured.

b.j.
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby b.j. » Thu Jan 14, 2010 12:57 pm

fl0w wrote:
sundevil77 wrote:
reebtoor wrote:I'm afraid so. You really don't even give a reason to believe you would do any better in law school. I would forget the addendum and write a more than stellar personal statement. I do think, though, that they typically look closely at transcripts, especially if the application is strong otherwise. Good luck.


+1.

Spend more time on something that is still in your control, the PS. I don't know if the GPA addendum is compelling enough to sway AdComms. A well written PS, however, could help your application.

Still, if you feel that the addendum is necessary, send it. I don't know how much it would actually hurt. If I were you, I might send it to a "reach" school that might automatically ding you for having too low of a GPA.


do not send it. just don't do it.


You think it would not only be unhelpful, but actively detrimental?

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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:00 pm

b.j. wrote:
fl0w wrote:
sundevil77 wrote:
reebtoor wrote:I'm afraid so. You really don't even give a reason to believe you would do any better in law school. I would forget the addendum and write a more than stellar personal statement. I do think, though, that they typically look closely at transcripts, especially if the application is strong otherwise. Good luck.


+1.

Spend more time on something that is still in your control, the PS. I don't know if the GPA addendum is compelling enough to sway AdComms. A well written PS, however, could help your application.

Still, if you feel that the addendum is necessary, send it. I don't know how much it would actually hurt. If I were you, I might send it to a "reach" school that might automatically ding you for having too low of a GPA.


do not send it. just don't do it.


You think it would not only be unhelpful, but actively detrimental?


What b.j.'s addendum sounds like to other people wrote:Please excuse my GPA, I didn't make the best friends, and math is really hard. I grew up, and took easier classes. Kthanxbai


You realize plenty of math, science, econ, and engineering majors apply to law school and don't get any amazing boost, do you really think they are going to be sympathetic that you had to take Calc 1?

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ben1185
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby ben1185 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:03 pm

sundevil77 wrote:
reebtoor wrote:I'm afraid so. You really don't even give a reason to believe you would do any better in law school. I would forget the addendum and write a more than stellar personal statement. I do think, though, that they typically look closely at transcripts, especially if the application is strong otherwise. Good luck.


+1.

Spend more time on something that is still in your control, the PS. I don't know if the GPA addendum is compelling enough to sway AdComms. A well written PS, however, could help your application.

Still, if you feel that the addendum is necessary, send it. I don't know how much it would actually hurt. If I were you, I might send it to a "reach" school that might automatically ding you for having too low of a GPA.


I THINK writing an addendum won't spotlight his GPA anymore than it already is. Law schools focus nearly 100% on GPA and LSAT as it is. About the only negative I can see is OP might come across as whiny. But a short 1) I chose the wrong major, 2) it took me awhile to figure that out, and 3) once I did my grades improved addendum will in my opinion not hurt, and will direct the adcomms to compare grades between class types (Can probably do this in 3-5 sentences).

However, perhaps the easiest way to draw attention to this is to split out your GPA between majors on your resume. E.g.., 3.8 Economics, 2.8 Mathematics, 3.3 cumulative.

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fl0w
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby fl0w » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:06 pm

Desert Fox wrote:You realize plenty of math, science, econ, and engineering majors apply to law school and don't get any amazing boost, do you really think they are going to be sympathetic that you had to take Calc 1?


Tell me about it man. The math minor that I got on ACCIDENT because I was required to take that much math for my computer science degree. Makes my shake my fist in anger.

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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby ughOSU » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:07 pm

b.j. wrote:I wish to reveal the causes surrounding my low undergraduate grade point average.


I like the lead-in... it's sooo mysterious. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for a John Grisham novel, but I got something else.

e: "causes surrounding" sounds like an idiomatic error to me.

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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby 09042014 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:11 pm

fl0w wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:You realize plenty of math, science, econ, and engineering majors apply to law school and don't get any amazing boost, do you really think they are going to be sympathetic that you had to take Calc 1?


Tell me about it man. The math minor that I got on ACCIDENT because I was required to take that much math for my computer science degree. Makes my shake my fist in anger.


I think I was about one class away, and it was some really weird class about learning how to problem solve and write proofs, specifically designed so everyone the engineering college didn't get a math minor on accident.

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fl0w
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby fl0w » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:14 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
fl0w wrote:
Desert Fox wrote:You realize plenty of math, science, econ, and engineering majors apply to law school and don't get any amazing boost, do you really think they are going to be sympathetic that you had to take Calc 1?


Tell me about it man. The math minor that I got on ACCIDENT because I was required to take that much math for my computer science degree. Makes my shake my fist in anger.


I think I was about one class away, and it was some really weird class about learning how to problem solve and write proofs, specifically designed so everyone the engineering college didn't get a math minor on accident.


I think that class was called discrete mathematics at my school and i was required to take it my sophomore year. on the first day of class we were asked to prove that 2 is an even number. Good times. On the second day we were asked to solve the Monty Hall Dilema on the fly (none of us had heard of it at that time). Also good times.
Last edited by fl0w on Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ughOSU
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby ughOSU » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:14 pm

Desert Fox wrote:I think I was about one class away, and it was some really weird class about learning how to problem solve and write proofs, specifically designed so everyone the engineering college didn't get a math minor on accident.

I took a full year of proof-based calculus... Probably the hardest and best class I ever took.

e: thread officially hijacked

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pa.wink
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby pa.wink » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:23 pm

ben1185 wrote: But a short 1) I chose the wrong major, 2) it took me awhile to figure that out, and 3) once I did my grades improved addendum will in my opinion not hurt, and will direct the adcomms to compare grades between class types (Can probably do this in 3-5 sentences).

However, perhaps the easiest way to draw attention to this is to split out your GPA between majors on your resume. E.g.., 3.8 Economics, 2.8 Mathematics, 3.3 cumulative.


I think this is the best advice if you really want to explain your grades, except I would say 3 sentences max.

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ben1185
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Re: How Is This GPA Addendum?

Postby ben1185 » Thu Jan 14, 2010 1:35 pm

pa.wink wrote:
ben1185 wrote: But a short 1) I chose the wrong major, 2) it took me awhile to figure that out, and 3) once I did my grades improved addendum will in my opinion not hurt, and will direct the adcomms to compare grades between class types (Can probably do this in 3-5 sentences).

However, perhaps the easiest way to draw attention to this is to split out your GPA between majors on your resume. E.g.., 3.8 Economics, 2.8 Mathematics, 3.3 cumulative.


I think this is the best advice if you really want to explain your grades, except I would say 3 sentences max.


I'm honored that you chose to join TLS just to respond and credit my response :)




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